Learn to layout, assemble, fabricate, maintain and repair piping systems which carry water, steam, chemicals or fuel used in heating, cooling, lubricating and other processes.

To install a typical piping system in a commercial building or industrial plant, you will study blueprints, drawings and specifications to determine the type of pipe and tools to use and layout the sequence of tasks.

You will make detailed sketches for pipe and equipment fabrication and installation during your career. You will measure, cut, thread, groove, bend, assemble and install metal, plastic and fibreglass pipes, valves and fittings, join pipe sections and related equipment to secure them into position and use testing equipment to check systems for leaks.

You may also remove and replace worn components, do general maintenance work and work on plant shut-downs.

To work in this trade, certification is required. This means that you must either be a registered apprentice working under the guidance of a certified journeyperson or you must be a certified journeyperson yourself.

Steamfitter pipefitters are skilled tradespeople who like working with their hands on physically demanding tasks.

This line of work is most fulfilling for those who enjoy working independently.

To thrive in this career, it is important to have the following traits:

  • creative problem solvers
  • the ability to visualize and execute complex instructions
  • enjoy working in physically active environments
  • good math and science skills
  • mechanical ability
  • ability to accurately estimate and measure sizes and lengths
  • ability to work independently
  • commitment to safe working conditions

Upon successfully completing the required working hours and apprenticeship education periods, graduates will be awarded an advanced diploma in addition to journeyperson status by Alberta’s Apprenticeship and Industry Training.

This is a Red Seal Endorsed trade – a recognizable standard that allows tradespeople to work across Canada.

Download program info

Careers and opportunities

Our graduates may work in the following occupations. Some careers require additional experience and education.

Associated National Occupational Classification (NOC) codes: 72012, 72300, 72301, 72302, 72501, 74204, 92101.

Apprenticeship training

The term of apprenticeship for a steamfitter pipefitter is four years (four 12-month periods), including a minimum of 1560 hours of on-the-job training and eight weeks of classroom instruction each year.

Year 1 | Period 1

You will start by learning standard workplace safety, rigging, tools, equipment and materials. You will then learn metal fabrication, drawing and specifications, calculation and science. All year 1 Plumber, Gasfitter, or Steamfitter apprentices will share a common first year, attending all classroom instruction and labs together.

Training length: 8 weeks

Year 2 | Period 2

You will then learn heating systems, hydronic heating, rigging equipment and hoisting communication, specialty piping, gas fitting fundamentals, drawings, layouts and elevations.

Training length: 8 weeks

Year 3 | Period 3

You will then learn low-pressure steam and condensate systems, instrumentation and trade technologies, welding processes, hoist planning and cranes, process diagrams and mitre elbows.

Training length: 8 weeks

Year 4 | Period 4

You will learn high-pressure steam and condensate systems, process piping systems, job planning and lifts, and revised drawings and projects.

Training length: 8 weeks


Students must attain a PGPA and/or a CGPA of 2.0 or better in each semester and pass the necessary prerequisite courses to progress through the program. To qualify for graduation, students must pass all courses, attain a CGPA of 2.0 or better and complete course requirements within the prescribed timelines.

Review our grading and progression procedure >

Training pathways

You can earn your journeyperson designation in the following way.

The traditional training pathway begins with finding a job with an employer willing to indenture you as an apprentice. Once you are an apprentice, you will alternate between on-the-job training and educational periods. 
You must apply for an apprenticeship through Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training before attending your first education period at SAIT. 

Three SAIT apprentices work together in a pipetrades lab.

Pre-employment pathway

SAIT’s Pre-employment Pipetrades program prepares you to enter into an apprenticeship with hands-on skills. Upon successfully completing the program, you’ll qualify to challenge the first-year Gasfitter, Plumber and Steamfitter Pipefitter apprenticeship exams.

Pre-employment Pipetrades

Admission requirements

To enter an apprenticeship, you must have the educational qualifications required or recommended education for the trade to which you apply.

Entrance requirements are monitored and set by Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training.

Minimum requirements

Successful completion of the following courses:

  • English 20-2
  • Math 20-3
  • Science 10


A pass mark in all five Canadian General Educational Development (GED) tests


Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training Entrance Exam

Recommended requirements

Apprentices with an Alberta High School Diploma that includes the following courses:

  • English 30-2
  • Math 30-3
  • Physics 30 OR Chemistry 30 OR Science 30
  • Related career and technology studies (CTS) courses
A woman wearing coveralls and a welding helmet poses for a photograph in a SAIT welding lab.


Once you have begun working as an apprentice, you can attend SAIT to complete your technical training.

You'll register for technical training at SAIT on MyTradeSecrets or you can register by phone.

How to register

Transfer Agreements

SAIT has been working with industry partners to develop transfer agreements that allow students to apply their SAIT education to a related credential. The following transfer agreements are available to students in this program:

University of the Fraser Valley

Program name
Bachelor of Business Administration for Trades Management
Available credits:

As a certified Steamfitter - Pipefitter tradesperson, with at least one year of full-time work experience in the field and the necessary English and Introductory Business prerequisites, you are eligible to apply to UFV's Bachelor of Business Administration for Trades Management.

This five (5) semester program provides individuals with the ability to leverage their prior learning (Trade Certificate) and to augment prior learning with the fundamentals of business management theories and practices. The objective is to produce graduate students who are equipped to successfully function as managers and owners of a trade-related business in today's rapidly changing global environment.

Available intakes


2024/25 tuition and fees

The following costs are effective as of July 1, 2024.

The estimated total cost of 2024/25 tuition and fees in each period of technical training.
Period Number of weeks Tuition fees Additional fees Total
1 8 $1,152 $329 $1,481
2 8 $1,152 $329 $1,481
3 8 $1,152 $329 $1,481
4 8 $1,152 $329 $1,481
Total cost:

Books or modules, along with other items for classes, are approximately $600 per period.

It's recommended you don't purchase books or modules ahead of time as they might be outdated by the time you attend classes, and they cannot be returned to the Bookstore.

Personal protective equipment (PPE) will be required for the program, which may be an additional cost to apprentices.

2023/24 tuition and fees

The following costs are effective until June 30, 2024.

The estimated total cost of 2023/24 tuition and fees in each period of technical training.
Period Number of weeks Tuition fees Additional fees Total
1 8 $1,056 $319 $1,375
2 8 $1,056 $319 $1,375
3 8 $1,056 $319 $1,375
4 8 $1,056 $319 $1,375
Total cost:
A man crosses his arms over planks of wood and smiles at the camera.

Funding options for apprentices

Apprentices get to learn while they earn, but there are still costs to consider. Many resources are available at SAIT and federally to help support apprentices.

Financial aid

Information sessions

Prepare for a strong start in your chosen program or get the details you need to decide your future path.

Our expert staff and faculty are ready to answer your questions and provide information about the following:

  • What sets SAIT apart
  • An introduction to the program and area of study
  • Admission requirements
  • Future career paths
  • Information on the earning potential and graduate employment rates.


Have more questions?

Technical training at SAIT

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